Puzzle by Julie Ann Bowling, edited by Will Shortz Four ten-letter inter-related two-word heterophones are the main feature of this neatly constructed Tuesday crossword puzzle. LEADPENCIL (20A Number one #2?); MINUTEMAID (57A Little woman?); POLISHJOKE (9D What a comedian might do before going onstage?); and BASSGUITAR (29D Fish-shaped musical instrument?) -- even though the heterophone is only the first word of each entry, e.g., lead, minute, polish, and bass, it seems unnecessary to complicate the description. Nevertheless, there is the matter of whatchamacallit -- check Comments section for this discussion. At this point I'm leaning toward what appears to be the best of all possible worlds and have emended the introductory paragraph in the light of comments -- especially moved to same by the comment left by NYT Anonimo in today's Comments -- "(the) theme would be more accurately described as Heteronyms rather than homophones or homonyms." Upon further research, "heterophone" seems to be the most accurate definition. A partial quotation from Wikipedia for "heterophone" follows: "In linguistics, heterophones are words that are spelled the same but have different pronunciations and meanings, such as desert (abandon) and desert (arid region). Heterophones are a type of homonym, and are also called heteronyms. The state of being a heterophone is called heterophony. Opposite to heterophones are homophones: words that sound exactly the same (and may or may not have different spellings)." Is there a Henry Higgins in the house? See Comments. Continuing with admirable symmetry, there are two nine-letter entries, IRONSTONE (6D Hard porcelain) and PRECLUDED (34D Made impossible); two eight-letter entries, DOUBLETS (26A 2 and 12, e.g., in dice) and SCARESUP (49A Puts together hastily); two seven-letter entries, PEASANT (24A Manorial worker) and VACUOUS (51A Empty, as a stare); with three six-letter entries, GOSPEL (5D Matthew or Mark); FJORDS (35A Oslo is on one), and RUEFUL (50D Really sorry). Five-letter entries include AGONY, AVERS, CROCE, DOLED, EXECS, FARSI, GROSS, LEAST, LOSES, OMEGA, OWING, PUMPS, RODEO, SILOS, SNORT, TENON, UNCLE and UNZIP. There is quite a large four-letter group which includes ARCS, CIRC, COOP, DEEP, DENG, DYER & DYES, EDNA, EPEE, IDEA, IGOR, INCA, ISLE, KITE, LENO, LOOT, NERD, NORA, NOTS, ODOR, OMEN, ORAL, ORZO, OUSE & OUIS; PLOD, POTS, RIND, RSTU, SORE, UNTO, and WOVE. The three-letter fill, AUF, DUH, EXS, GAP, ICU, LSU, SAD, and SAO, is quite economical. Clues across: 1. In debt; 6. Post-op locale; 9. Bets build them; 13. Workplace for some clowns; 14. Melon exterior; 16. Sign to heed; 17. States confidently; 18. Rice-shaped pasta; 19. Late-night name; 20. Number one #2?; 22. Hunchbacked assistant; 23. “All My EXS Live in Texas” (1987 #1 country hit) (; 24. Manorial worker; 26. 2 and 12, e.g., in dice; 31. “I am such a dope!”; 32. Bart’s teacher, EDNA Krabappel; 33. Hen’s home; 35. Oslo is on one; 39. Have-NOTS (poor people); 40. Traffic problem; 42. Northamptonshire river; 43. Yucky; 45. Olympics blade; 46. Toy with a cross frame; 47. Dental problem calling for braces; 49. Puts together hastily; 51. Empty, as a stare; 55. Prefix with culture; 57. Little woman?; 63. Heist haul; 64. Proceed slowly; 65. Persian tongue; 66. Cuzco native; 67. Holding a grudge; 68. “I surrender!”; 69. Batik artist; 70. In a funk; 71. Manages to elude Down: 1. Like most folklore; 2. Used a loom; 3. Brainchild; 4. Social misfit; 5. Matthew or Mark; 6. Hard porcelain; 7. Magazine fig.; 8. Loosen, as a parka; 9. What a comedian might do before going onstage?; 10. Alphabet ender; 11. Carpentry joint part; 12. Angry bull’s sound; 15. Apportioned, with “out”; 21. Members of management; 25. “AUF Wiedersehen”; 26. China’s DENG Xiaoping; 27. Dumpster emanation; 28. Sermon preposition; 29. Fish-shaped musical instrument; 30. Ivory, Coast and others; 34. Made impossible; 36. Alsace assents; 37. Queue after Q; 38. Tough to fathom; 41. Most trivial; 44. SAO Tome; 48. High-heel shoes; 50. Really sorry; 51. Not yet expired; 52. Intense pain; 53. Jim who sang “Time in a Bottle”; 54. Missile sites; 58. Ibsen’s NORA Helmer; 59. Hand, to Hernando; 60. Rainbow shapes; 61. Cruise stopover; 62. Stamping tools. Speaking of heterophones, heterographs, heteronyms, homographs, homonyms, or homophones; ET phone home! Goodbye, I gotta fly! ----------------- For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated .
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
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